Modesto may pick interim city manager on May 6

04/16/2014 5:39 PM

04/16/2014 7:06 PM

The Modesto City Council could at its May 6 meeting pick an interim successor to City Manager Greg Nyhoff, who is leaving to become city manager of Oxnard in Southern California.

Mayor Garrad Marsh said Nyhoff’s last day on the job will be May 30. The Oxnard City Council selected Nyhoff last week and on Tuesday approved a three-year contract with him at an annual salary of $265,000. The contract is effective June 1. Nyhoff earned $199,188 last year in Modesto.

Marsh said Councilmen Dave Lopez and Bill Zoslocki and Councilwoman Jenny Kenoyer will screen applicants for interim city manager and recommend a finalist for the council May 6. Marsh said if the council selects the finalist that night, he expects the council to consider that person’s contract at its May 13 meeting.

Marsh said the interim manager will not be a city employee. He expects that person to serve four to six months, which he said will give Modesto enough time to hire a permanent city manager. Marsh added that three retired city managers have contacted the city about the job.

Nyhoff, 54, has been Modesto’s city manager for nearly six years and came here from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he was an assistant city manager. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Marsh and other council members have praised Nyhoff for his leadership during the Great Recession, in which the city saw its revenues nose-dive. But he is leaving Modesto as it faces several challenges, including cutting an additional $8 million to $9 million from the city’s $113 million general fund over this and the next two fiscal years to bring expenses in line with revenues. The general fund pays for public safety, parks and other basic services.

Nyhoff’s total compensation in his first year in Oxnard will be $362,602. That includes a $3,600 car allowance and $38,205 in pension contributions paid by the city, according to Oxnard officials.

He also will receive as much as $29,500 in what Oxnard is calling one-time reimbursements. Oxnard is paying up to $18,000 toward Nyhoff’s housing costs as he sells his Modesto home. He will receive $2,000 per month for up to nine months or until he sells his home, whichever happens first. He is getting as much as $10,000 for moving expenses and $1,500 for airline tickets for two round-trip flights for him and his wife to look for housing in Oxnard.

The amount of Nyhoff’s total compensation in Modesto last year was not available Wednesday.

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